Eating out gives seniors a reason to go out and socialize with their loved ones. However, the symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease can sometimes make it challenging for seniors to eat in public. Fortunately, these five tips simplify dining out so seniors with Parkinson’s can enjoy the benefits of visiting a restaurant with their friends and family.
1. Choose the Right Restaurant
If your loved one requires special accommodations, make sure the restaurant is prepared. Create a list of your concerns before calling, such as whether or not the restaurant has wheelchair access. Check preferred restaurants before your outing so you can proceed with confidence.
If your senior loved one requires help preparing nutritious meals at home or transportation to local restaurants, consider hiring a caregiver. Families who need help caring for a senior loved one can turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of El Dorado County, California, senior care. Services available in our customizable care plans include meal prep, mental and social stimulation, assistance with personal hygiene tasks, and much more.
2. Take Serving Styles into Consideration
Buffet service may give you the most food for your money. However, limited mobility caused by Parkinson’s may make it difficult for your loved one to carry a heavy tray or use the serving utensils without spilling food. Look for restaurants that serve the food directly to your table, or consider bringing an extra caregiver along to assist your loved one.
Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. El Dorado County, CA, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity.
3. Bring Your Own Utensils
Many seniors with Parkinson’s use ergonomically designed dishes and utensils to make eating easier. Many restaurants are willing to serve food on the dishes you bring, or you can transfer it after it is served. You can also include this on your list of questions when you call ahead for a reservation. Most dining establishments are understanding if a senior needs to use a special cup or knife to eat without getting hurt. If bringing your own utensils isn’t possible, consider other options such as bendable straws or having the chef pre-cut foods to help your loved one get by with regular silverware.
4. Look Over the Menu
Seniors who are on special diets should always make sure they will be able to eat a nutritious meal. Find out if vegetables can be served as an entrée if your loved one needs a low-protein diet. Let the server know if your loved one has any dietary restrictions, and you can also make special requests such as having vegetables cooked until they are completely softened so your loved one can eat without choking.
5. Plan an Early Meal
Since many people go out to eat after work, going for an early dinner gives you a better chance at getting in and out quickly. Visiting the restaurant during a slower time also gives servers more time to listen as your loved one speaks if he or she has difficulty communicating. It also offers more privacy so your loved one can feel more comfortable dining in public while managing symptoms such as tremors.
In addition to Parkinson’s, seniors can face a variety of other health conditions as they age, such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. If your elderly loved one is living with Alzheimer’s and needs help managing the symptoms, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of Alzheimer’s care. El Dorado County seniors can rely on our revolutionary Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), an activities-based program that helps slow cognitive decline and delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. CTM also encourages seniors to engage with others in an enjoyable way and helps them build new routines to look forward to. If you need a professionally trained caregiver for your elderly loved one, contact us at (916) 358-3801 or (530) 409-4411 today.